• Adjunct Professor, Oncological Sciences
  • Adjunct Professor, Internal Medicine


  • MD, Medicine, University of Wurzburg, Germany
  • PhD, CML pathogenesis , University of London, United Kingdom


Michael Deininger is Professor and Chief of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah. He is an HCI investigator and member of the Experimental Therapeutics program. He has extensive experience treating patients with blood cancers, including chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and myeloproliferative neoplasms, a group of blood cancers related to leukemia.

Dr. Deininger received his MD from the University of Würzburg Medical School, Germany, in 1990. Throughout his studies he was funded by the prestigious German Scholarship Foundation. He subsequently trained in Internal Medicine and Hematology/Oncology. In 1995 he obtained a grant to enroll in the PhD program at Imperial College, London. His thesis work focused on signal transduction and the potential use of imatinib (Gleevec) as molecularly targeted therapy for CML. After returning to Germany he completed a fellowship in stem cell transplantation at the University of Leipzig Medical Center. In 2002 he was recruited to the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Oregon Health & Science University as an Assistant Professor. In 2007 he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and became the Head of the Hematologic Malignancies Section at OHSU. In August 2010 Dr. Deininger became the M.M. Wintrobe Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah and was appointed Chief of the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies. He was also appointed Senior Director for Transdisciplinary Research at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Dr. Deininger’s scientific focus is leukemia, specifically myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) including CML, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) and myelofibrosis (MF). As a clinician-scientist with a translational research focus Dr. Deininger is heading an extramurally funded research laboratory that is dedicated to the study of signaling pathways, drug resistance and new molecular therapies in leukemia. Dr. Deininger’s work describing the selective effects of imatinib on CML cells provided the rationale for clinical trials that led to the approval of Gleevec as the first molecularly-based therapy for leukemia. Current work in his lab is focused on understanding the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in leukemia drug resistance, discovering novel therapeutic targets and developing more specific signal transduction inhibitors. Dr. Deininger’s work encompasses more than 200 articles in the peer-reviewed literature, including journals like Cancer Cell, Blood, Journal of Clinical Investigation and the New England Journal of Medicine. He has co-authored more than 10 book chapters, with contributions in leading textbooks such as deVita’s Principles of Oncology. He is a regular speaker at major international scientific meetings, such as the American Society of Hematology and the European Hematology Association and a peer reviewer for journals like Nature Genetics and Cancer Cell. His honors include the Alexandra Kefalides Prize for Leukemia Research, membership on the Editorial Board of Blood (the leading journal in Hematology) and Thompson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher award in 2014 and 2015. Dr. Deininger serves as the vice-Chair for NCCN CML panel and is a member of the NCCN MPN panel. As of 2016 he is a standing member of the Developmental Therapeutics Study Section, Center for Scientific Review.